Srinagar-Leh highway thrown open

April 16th, 2008 - 1:01 am ICT by admin  

Srinagar, April 15 (IANS) The strategic Srinagar-Leh highway in Jammu and Kashmir was opened for traffic Tuesday after remaining closed during the winter months due to snowfall. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad flagged off a fleet of Srinagar-bound vehicles from Zero Point near Gumri across Zojila pass, marking the earliest annual opening of the 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway.

It is for the first time that the road has been thrown open in mid-April for vehicular traffic despite this winter’s heavy snowfall. This vital road link between Kashmir and Ladakh used to be generally opened for traffic in June.

Last year, the opening of the road was advanced to May 1, which was then the earliest time to have the highway thrown open after prolonged closure during winter.

Technical Education Minister Haji Nissar Ali, chief executive councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Developmental Council (LAHDC), Kargil, Asgar Ali Karbalai, commander of 15 Corps, Lt. Gen. Mukesh Sabarwal, chief engineer of project Beacon, Brig. A.K. Bhutani, chief engineer Himank, Brig. Palati, deputy commissioner Kargil and other officers were present on this occasion.

The chief minister met engineers, workers and soldiers of Beacon and Himank projects maintaining the highway and appreciated their efforts to ensure its early opening.

He said this was an important road link as it connected the Ladakh region with rest of the state and country.

“Its early opening has significance for the people,” Azad said, adding that the road link would help in carrying essentials sooner to the mountainous region and also promote tourism activities.

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